Monthly Archives: April 2011

Thankfulness is three minutes and a reset button

I have been busy.  Life has been suffocating.  That’s playing it conservatively with my adjectives. 

Today in the car I took in a deep breath and asked the kids to shut it for at least 10 minutes.  I don’t do that.  I rarely demand silence and if I do they never listen.  They are verbal creatures who were born conjugating verbs. The worst discipline I could deliver is to take away their right of speech which, is why they never allow it to happen.

Thankfully,  I am the master at dissociating.  I hear the squeals.  I feel the vibration of their wails but I am happy because I mentally teleport myself to a sunny place filled with waves, salty air and lots of humus.  I would remain there longer if I could but humus makes me drool.  The splashing of the drool on my lap is my check back to reality.  If my mouth is dried out from last night’s Tylenol PM then one of my trio breaks into my mental mirage to ask “Mom, why do you have that unstable smile on your face?”

Today my mind was full.  I couldn’t transport to humus island.  I couldn’t think.  I couldn’t drool.  I could only hear the high pitch voices and sibling teasing.  I think they saw the crazy in my eyes.  I think they knew that if they didn’t zip it then bad things would happen.  For the first time EVER, they were quiet.  No one moved.  Breathing (with the exception of mine) was kept to a near pass out minimum. 

I inhaled and prayed and exhaled and prayed.  Peace came and it was great.  I  felt like we were bathing in an eternity of silence.  I looked at the clock expecting the passing of a good 10-15 minutes.  I’m not good at predicting time.  I die a daily death on my elliptical and a minute always feels like 10.  But this time, in the car, THREE minutes had passed.  Three minutes of silent bliss.  Three minutes to allow me to decompress.  I am thankful for those three simple minutes. 

I thought about torturing my verbal addicts for another 7 minutes of silence.  I smiled a stable, calculating smile at the thought.  Then I released them from their verbal prison.  They emerged cautiously and carefully.  Our situation had been reset and I think I just discovered a new reset button.

The three minute reset button is still working several hours later.  I just happened to glance over my shoulder while typing and saw this chillaxin’ sight:

I'm too chill for the stress pill Mom

 I supressed my laughter while carefully moving in for a closer look. I discovered this waiting for me:

You can't camera sneak on me mom...I'm ready for you!

  I’ll take another three minutes please……

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Germs, Poo and Resurrection

My daughter is a germaphobe freak.   Actually, two of my three kids are germ freaks. My second born (and middle child) is the only one who has a cavalier attitude toward microbes.  He was fed enough spiders from his loving older sister at a tender young age before resisting her was possible.  Initially he would furrow his brows and smack at the object while wearing a mixed look of curiously disgusted.  Occasionally Most times I caught feeding time and performed the perfected parental finger swipe retrieving the object.  I’m convinced it was this constant diet of nasty that lowered his freaking-out threshold. 

My germ loving son NEVER gets sick.  That child has a nazi immune system.  And it seems he has been rewarded for enduring all of the meals provided by older sis because nothing in nature, of nature, around nature, or containing nature touches him.  He is the nature whisperer!

Older sis?  Not so much.  She attracts nature just by breathing.  Payback?  Maybe, but we often attract that which we fear or place our focus on.  Whatever we place before our eyes and elevate in our lives, we empower.  It’s like the child who fears becoming like a parent and declares “I will never be like my parent!” They focus so much on the behavior of the parent that often times they become the very behavior they despised.  

Think about it…Have you noticed that there could be a group of people gathered outside but it is always the people who fear bees or are allergic to them that get stung?  The people who fear dogs attract them like Cesar Millan (minus the “ssssttttt” of course).  The people who are afraid of water usually are the first to fall off the boat.  And the people who fear heights too frequently find themselves in nosebleed situations. 

Could it be that the bee people proclaim “I know I’m going to get stung!”  The dog people utter “Dogs are always after me.”  The aqua people respond “I’m going to end up in the water…I just know it.”  And the height people confess “I’m afraid of heights and I know this lift is going to stop!”  All of these people share two things – fear and belief.  Fear of a situation and the belief that IT WILL HAPPEN.

Fear is a powerful emotion.  It is the opposite of faith (some say fear is faith in the wrong kingdom) so it should come as no surprise that fear works.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us in the new living translation that “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”  Now doesn’t the fearful statment of “I just know….[insert feared expectation]” sound very similiar to the faith principal?

I came across this quote a few years  ago and I found it enlightening:

“Fear imprisons, faith liberates; fear paralyzes, faith empowers; fear disheartens, faith encourages; fear sickens, faith heals; fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable and, most of all, fear puts hopelessness at the heart of life, while faith rejoices in its God.”

So what of my daughter who breaths and nature responds?  What could be the worst for a clean-freak germaphobe to experience while taking a leisurely walk through heavily populated Central Park?  Take a look:

It's a direct hit - Bird Poo fresh from Bird Butt!

 Heavily populated Central Park and the bird chose her for this special gift.  I was right beside her…shoulder to shoulder…a few cm and I would’ve been blessed with the gift.  I felt the wind from the falling “load” brush past me but it was not until I heard her wails of disgust that I fully understood what had occurred.

We laughed as we washed off her boots and she said “I’ll never look at these boots the same again….I can still see where the spots are!” 

As we celebrate Easter this weekend I am faithfully thankful for a Savior who has not only [permanently-residue free] washed away my sin and spots, but also is blinded to my sin and never looks at me the same again [I am new]!! 

I am a new creation in Christ. Old things have passed away and all things have become new! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Who’s your boss?

The "Path" to Hoboken NJ

The next portion of our NYC journey takes us to Hoboken NJ to Mr. Cake Boss himself.

TLC’s Cake Boss is one of the kid’s favorite shows.  I believe Buddy fills the extreme baking void that I, the non-baker mom, have left in their lives.  I am rather thankful for his presence in our home and do not harbor any feelings of resentment or jealously even when the kids respond “Mom, how’come your cakes never turn out like that?”  I can easily reply “Ah, because you see, he creates works of art that could be displayed in a museum!”  How can Mrs. No Bake Pavlov compete with that?  I can’t.  That’s the beauty.

It was a no brainer that Mr. Cake Man would be elevated to a high priority level of must see attractions.  But common sense (I seem extremely gifted in this area) told me that we would not be the only cake crazed fans of Mr. Fabulous so I did my research…..research that informed me of the crazy crowds, long lines and baked goods that didn’t quite measure up as expected.  GREAT.

We do for our kids and do we did.  My research informed me:

  1.  Tuesdays are the slowest day of the week
  2. Get there early
  3. Be prepared to wait
  4. Expect rudeness
  5. The baked goods are so-so
  6. People are crazy

After a little travel confusion we arrived at 11:30AM…later that desired.  The line was already a half of a block long and growing.  We secured a spot and within a mere 10 minutes the line grew two blocks and spilled across the street!

A conveniently located clock across the street to make one painfully aware of the agonizing wait.

 As you can see from the clock above we were in line (Outside) for 1 hour and 30 minutes before we ever reached indoor heat.  THEN we had a 30 minute wait inside.  We only had to move a 1/2 block.  The people across the street?  Their wait was 3 1/2 to 4hours before their skin felt indoor warmth.  Ouch. 

For those of you who know Mr. Pavlov and me you know that we don’t do lines.  This was the mother of all lines and a total labor of love for our precious darlings.  I’m quite confident that we will cash in on this sacrifice for many years to come whenever our offspring dare utter “We don’t get to do anything!!” I will simply grin, tympanic membrane to tympanic membrane, and respond “Ahem….remember the 2 hour wait in line in the freezing cold?”   

While I did not get a photo of the actual length of the line (My brain was somewhat hypothermic and sluggish) here are a few of our line frolicking.

I cant feel my fingers!

The crazy "adults"

"Look whats above my head!" Mr. Pavlov is in touch with his inner child.

This gives a whole new meaning to window shopping Weve reached the window!!! Almost there now....

 Once inside you were given a number and got to experience more waiting.  Dos is oh so excitedly (not) showing that we are #13.  After the counter reaches 100 it cycles back to #1.  We have a number journey to go.

Im kinda done with this.

The view from inside looked like this:

How many humans can you heard in a small shop?

Other voyeurs

In possession of the goods

 While Buddy was hiding for his life we did get to see a special baker…

I got my eye on yous psycho fans!

 Psycho fans we almost became when after enduring the elements, mankind and Kronos, we were callously informed that they only had a single – one – uno – solo- Lobster Tail left!!!!  We wanted 5.  What famous bakery runs out of popular items??? I wanted to take the roll of baking string which, was directly above me and bungee jump from the employee’s neck but instead I forced a smile and took the last Lobster tail along with these:

A lobster tail in a world of Neapolitans

C is for Cannolis

We left the lair of Cake Boss and discovered Mexico. Starvation was in full effect and Mexico looked like a great place to stuff our faces.  This line-free place rocked my taco world!  My taste buds were in culinary heaven. 

Mexico and lunch

 Now what everyone was waiting for….dessert.  Our youngest decided to get funky with his oral abilities and sent a little saliva flying right in the direction of the (open boxed) cherished pastries.

They are thinking "Eww, did any of his gross spit get on my precious?!?"

 Who cares.  All normal tendency for grossedoutness was forgotten and the possibly tainted baked goods…devoured!

Content sugar rushing smiles were worn by all as we made our way back to NYC.  Mr. Pavlov and I felt crazily satisfied.  Research point #6 is a fact – people are crazy.  Everything else is open for debate.

Crazy is what makes life fun.

Stripper poles, Chinatown and Hickeys…NYC has it all!

We spent a big portion of our NYC trip on the subway.  While Mr. Pavlov and I consider ourselves experienced subway surfers (thanks to the years we spent living in Washington D.C.) our kids are relatively subway newbies.  Especially the youngest.  To him the subway was pure entertainment.  Whether testing his balancing skills or his speed at maneuvering through slamming doors or perfecting his climbing techniques, the subway was his new urban playground. He was uninhibited and loving life.  These are just a few quick glimpses of our daily rides:

See what I can do on a near empty train?!

 

This is GRRRREAT!!

 Then he did this and said…..

Look mom I'm like.....

…..one of those lady actresses on TV with a pole.  Chirp, chirp…awkward silence.  Did I hear correctly? Lady actresses on TV with a Pole? 

Ok, my mind was racing.  What could he possibly be referring to???  What had he seen? Maybe he watched a documentary on female firefighters.  That’s possible right?

Just as I was convincing myself that he was most certainly referring to female firefighters, he busted out some killer stripper pole moves that even gained the attention (along with a few raised eyebrows) of the normally indifferent NY subway commuters.  I glared in the direction of Mr. Pavlov who shrugged [too quickly] in innocence.  He looked guilty to me.  I inquisitioned him and the lil’ pole stripper later only to discover that the guilty party was America’s Funniest Home Videos! 

Our Chinatown stop arrived and the subway striptease came to an abrupt end.  Chinatown is a unique world with sights, sounds and people that you just have to experience.  Whether a white rapist van filled with smoke and Jamaicans yelling “Ehh, blonde, blonde c’mere me want’ta tell you someting!” or the various animal parts hanging in shop windows, Chinatown is an auditory and visual trip! 

Thankfully, I had my camera hanging heavily on my neck and here are a few sights:

What in the Hoy is Wong??

Where's Loud Orange Hat Waldo in the crowd??

His NYC Indian Name: "Loud Orange Hat" (we bought that color for a reason) trying to strike up a conversation with a random man.

Quack

Oink

What critter can we eat???

Mr. Crab?

Take a guess

Older son "Whoa, wait a minute...what's this I see...GAMES?!?"

Feed us!!!!!

To a boy everything is a cool experiment

Yum, Hot soup - clears the nasal cavity!

If your aura is somewhat altered after all of these unusual sight and sounds then, believe it or not, Chinatown has just the fix.  Had it not been for Marianne, a blogging buddy of mine over at comedyoferrers.com I would not have had any idea about fixing your aura or what this next photo was for.  Thankfully, Marianne made this comment recently on my Only a Boy post:

There is a massage acupuncture thing called cupping where they put suction cups on your back to clear your aura of stuff. I tried to hide it from my husband and was unsuccessful. His question: How much did you pay for someone to do that?

When I saw this little gizmo staring back at me from a shop window, I immediately remembered Marianne’s comment and chuckled.

Hickey marks anyone?

 I considered purchasing Mr. Hickey maker but a few things stopped me:

  1. the visual image of my boys elatedly covered in self-inflicted hickeys
  2. my youngest proudly proclaiming that he gave these hickeys to himself with a suction “machine” that mommy bought in an [alley located] Asian shop
  3. the visit from Child and Youth Services

 The aura machine remained in the dirty window while we headed to the subway.  Tres played stripper again during the ride back to Manhattan but somehow, in light of everything we saw, it didn’t seem so bad.

Not in Kansas anymore

I officially HATE uploading the massive amounts of photos I seem to accumulate on trips.  It takes HOURS and I dread the process.  I am beyond ready to throw my computer across the floor right now but here is part one of our out of Kansas experience.

Packed and leaving "Kansas"

On our way out of our city we heard a loud roar and thought the sky was falling.  However we quickly realized it was just the medevac team transporting a critical patient. 

Pausing to watch the scene unfold

The kids immediately gained a position on higher ground and breathlessly watched the scene.

If you followed the Twitter trail then you are aware of the bus trip bathroom experience.  Little Tres had developed an intimate relationship with the bus bathroom.  Needless to say he eventually “pooped” out.

All Pooped out

 The ride into the city proved very educational and we found the NY bus advertisements to encourage those conversations a parent would rather have at a later date.

Tres "Why is he kissing a girl and holding a guy's hand and why does it say Get Tested?"

Once in the city the boys (big and small) had this initial reaction:

A little boy and his dog in a big city

The boys perfecting the tourist maneuver

If our neck craning reaction did not instantly prove the fact that we were tourists then fer’sure the subway ride did.  Why?  Well take look and tell me what you think gave us away:

Nice arm rest we have here....

 

Whew, line them up

Heave Ho, let me just DRAG this....

Luggage!  You guessed it.  A taxi would’ve been the more appropriate avenue of travel but when have we ever done the more appropriate thing?  Besides the kids loved the subway and the little guy was always pushing the ‘yellow line’ restriction.

Intrigued with the yellow line and pushing the boundaries

 We were all exhausted yet we could still marvel at the level of filth going on in NYC.  Interesting also was the intense (burn your eyes out) smell of urine in the subway.  These sights and smells proved amusing and kept us from doing fatigued face plants. 

 

 

I'm about to fall asleep...wait, look how dirty those windows are!

 

 

Fatigue blurry-eyeitis setting in

We ate, showered and hit the pillow top mattresses for some much-needed rest. The next day things seemed brighter.  We awoke to these views:

A sliver of country

That's a fact Dorthy, we're not in Kansas anymore!

A very small part of our navigation task at hand

We had rested and could now contemplate the journey.  Tres was even feeling better see:

In the middle making cross-eyed faces

Ready to take on the urban scene

 ….and I’m two seconds from hurling this computer to its death.  So with that uplifting outburst I’m going to complete my photo transferring torture at hand.

More NYC photos, stories and adventures to come your way soon IF my computer survives another day.

Got antibodies?

The 6 train that kept us on our NYC schedule

I am a tad off schedule lately.  Wow, that really sounds funny coming from let’s take each day as it rolls me, but it is true.  Actually I have been playing catch up since we missed our 6:55am departing bus out of NYC. I set my alarm for the correct time however it was that little AM/PM thing that messed me up.  The night owl that I am subconsciously related more with the PM side of things and subsequently that is where my alarm clock remained (4:30PM) while my body remained comfortably in bed stockpiling on some REM.  By the time I, the sole alarm setter, awoke it was too late.  We were bus toast. Thankfully we were able to get on the next bus, a 4:20pm bus, out of the city.  The late arrival home and 3AM bedtime was rough even for this veteran night dweller. We have been schedule constipated ever since. 

I do have cool photos a comin’ but I wanted to post something Mr. Pavlov said that was an eye opener. We set off for NYC with our easy-going, fresh faces smiling.  When we were bumped, shoved, or pushed we flowed with it.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we didn’t fight back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we scurried to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we caught them.  When our taxi was stolen taken we hailed another.  We exhibited Saint-like patience and kindness.

But then something happened the longer we stewed in this environment.  Our easy-going faces became distressfully determined. When bumped, shoved, or pushed we returned physical fire and threw in a warning hip check.  When we were tackled for the last seat on the subway we fought back.  When our hands were forcefully booted from the subway pole (the pole that keeps your human parts from sprawling all over someone else) we clenched them tighter and made the other rider scurry to find another. When our kids were roughly jostled by rushed NY’ers we glared and made cutting comments. When our taxi was stolen taken we angrily told the young taxi hijackers to find another.

 Patience and kindness who?

We could feel our attitude changing and our ugly coming on and before we knew it we almost mirrored the very behavior we disliked.  It was then that Mr. Pavlov shook his head and simply said “Man, this behavior is contagious!

Those powerful words woke us up from the contagious bad behavior spell and we stopped hip checking the elderly and gave them our subway seats once again.  While not fully immunized against behavioral diseases, our experience gave us the antibodies we require to recognize future invasion one contagious exposure at a time!

How have you dealt with ugly?  Got antibodies to share?

I go to NYC and return a versatile blogger

It seems that while I was on the road again attempting to survive in NYC (there is a Bronx zoo fugitive Cobra on the loose people!) I was nominated for a blogger award.  I owe Captain Obvious at Devastating the Obvious a word of thanks for this nomination so go on over to http://josiahblacksblog.wordpress.com and show the man some serious love.  His blog is like Wikipedia on steroids.  You won’t be disappointed.

Now for the rules because incase you haven’t figured out by now, everything in our world has rules.

  1. Share 7 things about yourself
  2. Pass the award along to other deserving blog recipients
  3. Link the award to the recipients

7 things about me, myself and I (if you’ve been around here for my posts you may already know some of these):

  1. I am a hopeless night owl.  I have tried to reform but my biorhythms are genetically altered for the night.  I abhor the mornings and now have come to accept that I always will.
  2. I am addicted to Tea…not just any cup of tea made any ‘ol way.  It has to be perfect and I have perfected my own cup of happiness.
  3. I am an oral hygiene freak. No tea stains here 🙂
  4. I intentionally got myself thrown off of a jury (don’t judge it was going to be 12 weeks of service!!)
  5. I love foreign languages and can read and write in Hebrew
  6. I’m a book nerd and would rather read than almost anything else, including eating which is a close second.
  7. I am dangerously impulsive

Share the award with other blogs and link to the recipients:

  1. Fairly Candid – A photographer who gives interesting narrations of her subjects.  It’s better than people watching!!
  2. The Gerichs Ohana – A cute blog that leaves you smiling thanks to little Sydney and her awesome mom captured photos. 
  3. The Purvis Tribe – A truly versatile blog with a little bit of everything…photographs, design, parenthood, humanitarian efforts.
  4. La Vida Dulce – as her intro states, this girl truly knows how to savor the sweet things in life one cup at a time and I enjoy reading these caffeinated posts!
  5. The O show – Capturing the reality of life via video, amazing pictures and stories.  

Now, I’m slighty traumatized from my recent NYC bodily fluid bus trip so if I missed anyone that I should have mentioned please don’t hate.  I’m sure you incredible bloggers out there have received many of these awards so it’s all good right?!?

I hope you enjoy these above blogs as much as I have.